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Spatial release of masking in children and adults in non-individualized virtual environments

Zenke, Katharina; Rosen, Stuart; (2022) Spatial release of masking in children and adults in non-individualized virtual environments. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 152 (6) pp. 3384-3395. 10.1121/10.0016360. Green open access

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Abstract

The spatial release of masking (SRM) is often measured in virtual auditory environments created from head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) of a standardized adult head. Adults and children, however, differ in head dimensions and mismatched HRTFs are known to affect some aspects of binaural hearing. So far, there has been little research on HRTFs in children and it is unclear whether a large mismatch of spatial cues can degrade speech perception in complex environments. In two studies, the effect of non-individualized virtual environments on SRM accuracy in adults and children was examined. The SRMs were measured in virtual environments created from individual and non-individualized HRTFs and the equivalent real anechoic environment. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for frontal target sentences and symmetrical speech maskers at 0° or ±90° azimuth. No significant difference between environments was observed for adults. In 7 to 12-year-old children, SRTs and SRMs improved with age, with SRMs approaching adult levels. SRTs differed slightly between environments and were significantly worse in a virtual environment based on HRTFs from a spherical head. Adult HRTFs seem sufficient to accurately measure SRTs in children even in complex listening conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Spatial release of masking in children and adults in non-individualized virtual environments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/10.0016360
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0016360
Language: English
Additional information: VC 2022 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0016360
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10161807
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